Three Student Researchers Win Marmur Award

For their exceptional accomplishments in graduate research, three Einstein students have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Marmur Award, presented each year by Einstein's Graduate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences.

Jeetayu Biswas, M.D./Ph.D. candidate
Jeetayu Biswas, M.D./Ph.D. candidate

The award was established nearly a quarter-century ago in memory of Einstein faculty member and pioneering molecular biologist Julius Marmur, Ph.D., who made significant contributions to DNA research.

“It is truly a distinctive honor to be selected as an awardee,” said Victoria Freedman, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate programs in biomedical sciences. “This year, as we all practice social distancing, the awardees will receive their accolades virtually. Even though we’ll be in front of our screens instead of in an auditorium, we will all be applauding the remarkable scientific achievements of these amazing students.”

Award Winners

The three Einstein awardees and their mentors are:

  • Jeetayu Biswas, M.D./Ph.D. candidate; mentor Robert Singer, Ph.D., department of anatomy and structural biology;
  • Hannah Monday, Ph.D. candidate; mentor Pablo Castillo, M.D., Ph.D., department of neuroscience; and
  • Justin Wheat, M.D./Ph.D. candidate; mentors Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D., department of cell biology, and Robert Singer, Ph.D., department of anatomy and structural biology.
Hannah Monday, Ph.D. candidate
Hannah Monday, Ph.D. candidate

The Marmur Awards were to have been presented on March 16 with a symposium consisting of student presentations and a poster session, but the ceremony will not be held because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

A major consideration for selecting the awardees was the likelihood that their work would have a high impact on their field of study. Eligible students submit formal applications, including a letter of support from their mentor, and all applications are reviewed by the Graduate Executive Committee, consisting of more than a dozen senior faculty from the basic science departments.

Mr. Biswas was recognized for his work on RNA binding proteins and mechanisms underlying recognition of targets; Ms. Monday for her work on presynaptic protein synthesis supporting structural and functional plasticity in the adult mammalian brain; and Mr. Wheat for single molecule Imaging of transcription dynamics in somatic stem cells.

Highlight of Academic Year

Justin Wheat, M.D./Ph.D. candidate
Justin Wheat, M.D./Ph.D. candidate

Ms. Monday said she was “very honored and grateful to the Marmur family and the Einstein graduate division for their commitment to promoting the research of early-career scientists."

Mr. Biswas added: “As a first-year student, and each year since, I remember attending the Marmur award lectures and being in awe of what graduate students before me had accomplished. Now, as a recipient, I am honored and thrilled to join the ranks of the very group that has inspired me to be the best scientist I can be.”

Mr. Wheat said the Marmur Research Award “has always been the highlight of the academic year. Prior award recipients have always been outstanding scientists who typified the excellence demonstrated by Dr. Marmur.” He added that he was “shocked and humbled to be a recipient,” and said he hoped to inspire Einstein students to set lofty goals.